On November 17th, Sweden became the 20th country to formally ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol: the number necessary for the amendment to enter into force beginning January 1, 2019.

The Kigali Amendment is a landmark agreement adopted in October 2016 to control the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It mandates a global phasedown of HFCs to about 15 percent of current levels of consumption. The United States has not ratified the amendment.

Clare Perry, head of the climate campaign at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said: “The Montreal Protocol is already rightly lauded as the world’s most successful international environmental treaty after it brought under control the production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were found in the mid-1980s to be destroying the ozone layer. The ozone layer is now on the path to recovery, a fact that should give us great optimism for the protocol’s expertise and ability to tackle HFCs with the same, and hopefully even greater, effectiveness.”

According to EIA, successful implementation of the Kigali Amendment will avoid an estimated 80 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050.

Developed countries will undergo the first control measures, with a 10 percent reduction in HFC consumption in 2019 followed by a 40 percent reduction in 2024; developing countries will freeze and then start to reduce their HFC consumption starting in 2024.

Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA U.S. climate campaign lead, said: “It is worth celebrating that within a year of agreeing to the Kigali Amendment we are ready for its entry into force in 2019. However, the real work to ensure that none of the climate benefits are left behind on the table begins now – including ensuring sufficient funding. The amendment sends signals to markets but it will take a sustained effort to ensure we have the fastest global transition to the most climate-friendly cooling technology.”

Although the U.S. has not ratified the Kigali Amendment, at the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol held in Montreal in November, Judith Garber, principal deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, said the U.S. supports the goals and approach of the amendment.

Publication date: 12/4/2017

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